Two Ways to Increase Your Advertising ROI

Two Ways to Increase Your Advertising ROI

There are many ways you can improve the results of your advertising campaign without increasing your investment. In over 30 years of managing advertising campaigns across a diverse set of industries here are some strategies we have found that can dramatically improve your results. 

First: Develop more effective creative

 Stephan Vogel, Ogilvy & Mather Germany’s chief creative officer says: “Nothing is more efficient than creative advertising. Creative advertising is more memorable, longer lasting, works with less media spending, and builds a fan community…faster.” 

 According to Nielsen 1, creativity drives 56% of a campaign’s sales ROI, and Google 2 reports that 70% of a campaign’s success is determined by the creative. Notice we did not say develop more expensive creative. Expensive advertising creative does not necessarily translate into more results.  

Effective creative has critical elements that create desire and deliver response. One of the keys to creativity that produces results creative content that is solution-based and customer focused. When you show your prospects how you are going to help them solve a problem, save them time or money, or help them achieve their goals, then you have the foundation for solid creative.  

Bad creative is vague. Have you ever watched or heard an ad and said to yourself “I have no idea what they are advertising.” That’s because the ad was vague. It did not give you any specifics to hold on to in order to move you from awareness to interest to action.  

One way to deliver solution based creative is to have actual customer testimonials speaking about the experience they had and the benefit they received from your product or service. This gives you social proof. Social proof is a phenomenon where people follow and copy the actions of others in order to display accepted or correct behavior, based on the idea of normative social influence. This term was coined by Robert Cialdini, the same author who presented his six principles of persuasion. This helps your potential customer relate to your brand, feel comfortable using your service and sparks emotion. Testimonials are also usually very specific. They tell the before and after story of how your product or service actually delivered.  

You also want to make sure your creative gives a call to action. Click here, call now, find out more, save now, act now, sign up here, get free information are just some simple three-word sentences that are powerful response drivers.  

Second: Make sure you know your customer

Place your advertising where they watch, listen, read and spend their time. Do you know what motivates your typical customer to purchase? Do you know what they are passionate about or what emotions they are feeling when they are thinking about purchasing your product. Knowing customer motives will help guide both your creative and media decisions. In an article by Wes Morton titled “A marketers guide to modern media consumption by age group,” he gives these insightful and powerful insights. 

  1. Tech adoption happens bottom up, from the youngest to oldest, necessitating new strategies to meet the younger generations where they are.
  2. As new generations mature into adulthood, their media habits crystalize while their buying power increases. Don’t forget about the wisest and biggest wallets in favor of chasing youth.
  3. No media really dies. Headlines like these are clickbait. The pie just shifts. Your marketing budget should reflect those consumer shifts.

Gen Z, people aged 12-25, are the socially conscious, woke, TikTok dancers that advertisers can’t talk enough about. This group can be boiled down to four channels: social, streaming TV, streaming music, and video games. That’s where 90% of your budget should go to reach ad land’s most desirable, youngest, and impressionable demographic. For young women, skew to streaming TV; for young men, invest more in video games. Social should be prioritized for each. 

Millennials, consumers aged 26-44, embody digital disruption, inheriting their name from the millennia transition and Y2K. With the most dispersed media habits on our list, millennials epitomize the move to digital with the adoption of the internet, iPhone, and social. This shift has caused them to share media habits from both older and younger generations. 

Gen X shares distributed media consumption with the millennial audience, albeit skewing toward older media forms like traditional TV. Curiously, Gen X also consumes the least amount of media at roughly eight hours. This generation is most likely to still have their pay TV bundles as well as new streaming TV subscriptions. 

Gen X is busy. They are the most likely to be parents (of Gen Alpha) and occupy senior work positions. Although the least covered in advertising trades, they have the highest disposable income of any generation, according to the World Economic Forum. 

Boomers love traditional TV. This is your dad who sends you clips from FOX News, CNN or MSNBC on how the country is going to hell. Boomers are the most likely to have pay TV packages, watching roughly 4.5 hours each day, almost 50% of their total media consumption. 

When they are not parked in front of the TV, Boomers dabble in social media and streaming TV. All advertising that seeks to reach this audience should have TV buys baked in. The original TV generation are still the OG couch potatoes. They will have the cable plugged in for the foreseeable future but will slowly adopt new media to connect to post awkward comments to their kids and grandkids. 

DX Media Direct Named One of the Leading Advertising Agencies in Texas

DX Media Direct Named One of the Leading Advertising Agencies in Texas

Despite the popularity of online advertising and social media marketing, traditional media still rings as one of the most effective ways to connect with your target audience. A lot of companies still employ advertising agencies to help achieve measurable results. DX Media Direct is one of those advertising agencies that lead you throughout the process and help you reach your goals.

Since 2011, our team has been delivering some of the best advertising campaigns and strategies in the market. With over a decade of experience in the industry, DX Media Direct is one of the go-to agencies in Texas.

Today, we are very proud to announce that our company has reached a new milestone, and we are happy to share this with you. Clutch has recently named their top advertising agencies in Texas, and we are lucky to lock in a spot on their list.

Clutch is an established platform in the heart of Washington, DC, committed to helping small, mid-market, and enterprise businesses identify and connect with the service providers they need to achieve their goals. Take a look through the customer feedback on our profile today!

We at DX Media Direct would like to express our gratitude to Clutch and their team for making this award happen. Our team is thankful for all that you’ve done to help the B2B industry and vendors alike. Of course, we can’t forget about our clients and partners. Your support has played a vital role in making DX Media Direct what it is today. Thank you for always choosing us and our team throughout these years. We can’t wait to work with you more in the future.

Interested in working with us? Connect with our team today! Let’s talk about your business and how we can help you reach your business goals.


Digital Advertising Glossary 

Digital Advertising Glossary 

As the landscape of advertising evolves and expands to include new mediums and digital platforms, the vocabulary used to describe, plan, and measure successful digital advertising campaigns must naturally grow as well. Keep our digital advertising glossary handy to help you understand and speak intelligently in the “language” of digital marketing today.

More helpful articles:

> Direct Response Copywriting

> Will You Survive the Cookie Apocalypse?

General Digital Terms

Banner Ad

An advertisement on a website with images and text, which can be static or animated, but is not a video. 

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The amount an advertiser pays per one thousand digital advertising impressions. 

Dynamic Cost Per Thousand (dCPM)

The amount an advertiser pays per one thousand digital advertising impressions but is dynamic depending on the value of each impression. Higher quality inventory or more data attached varies the CPM at the impression level (vs having a flat CPM despite the details included). 


Reaching users across all their devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, with advertising. 


A potential customer. In digital advertising, a lead is someone who has provided their information by filling out a form or completing a designated action on a website.  

Media Channel

We differentiate between Search, Social, and Programmatic (Display/Mobile/Video/Audio/CTV) 


Adjustments made to a campaign to improve the campaign’s efficiency. For example, removing keywords that aren’t generating results, or changing the geotargeting range.   

Programmatic Advertising

Buying and selling online ads through an automated platform, using data and algorithms to make decisions about which ads to buy in real-time 

Search Advertising

Search advertising allows advertisers to place ads within the search engine results that appear after a user has performed an online search. This tactic is also known as paid search, search engine marketing, SEM, pay-per-click, and PPC. Advertisers are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad, hence the name pay-per-click.   

Share of Voice (SOV)

The relative portion of ad inventory available to a single advertiser within a defined market over a specified period.   

Social Media Advertising

Ads that appear on any social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram.  These ads are served to a custom audience interested in the products and services provided by the advertiser.  


For Programmatic this would be Display vs. Video vs. Audio vs. CTV; For Social, it could be Facebook vs. Instagram vs. LinkedIn, etc. 

Targeting Terms Behavioral Targeting (BT)

Targeting audiences that have demonstrated an interest in a product or category, either via their web-browsing behavior or another prior action that indicates interest. This data is provided by third-party data providers.   

Category Contextual Targeting

A site targeting tactic based on the content. Impressions are served to users on sites and channels with content related to the product or category. Category Contextual targeting is similar to domain targeting but instead of targeting individual domains, you can target whole categories of sites at a time (all sports sites, all health sites, all finance sites, etc.). 

Cross-Device Targeting (XD)

The targeting applied goes across devices (mobile, PC, TV, tablet), so you are reaching users regardless of what device they are using. XD added to any other targeting means that targeting is applied across devices (ie XDBT = Cross-Device Behavioral Targeting) 

First-Party Targeting / CRM Targeting

Targeting data that is owned by the advertiser. This can be CRM data based on previous marketing efforts, registered clients, subscribed users, etc. This data can then be used to target, exclude, or model from. All first-party data is managed via LiveRamp ensuring that all data/PII is secure and hashed. 

Geotargeting (GT)

Reaching users based on their geographic location. Geotargeting is available at several levels: national, state, DMA, zip code, and a radius around a specific location.  

Geo Retargeting (GRT)

Reaching users based on geographic locations they have historically visited.  

In-App Targeting

Reaching an audience within apps that are contextually relevant to your campaign.  

Keyword Contextual (KW)

Impressions served to users while they are on pages with content related to the product or category.  

Lookalike Targeting (LAL)

Targeting a new audience that is developed based on data signals, to be similar to an established audience. A lookalike audience can be generated by pixel data (from site traffic or conversion activity) or can be modeled from 1st party CRM data or other shared data files. These lookalike models help to reach users who have similar behavioral and demographic profiles as previous site visitors. 

Persona Targeting

Personas are crafted using advanced data science techniques applied across billions of mobile device signals to classify users. A custom app ownership audience can also be built. Personas have the ability to cookie match their mobile audiences, so this can run omni-channel. 


Serving an ad to a user after they have visited a website. The user has indicated an interest in that brand but has not yet converted.    

Search Retargeting

Targeting users based on their search behavior. The best of both search and display. Serve a display ad to users who have searched relevant keywords – later as they are browsing other sites. 


Specific parameters used to determine the audience to serve with ads. This is determined by aggregating various attributes, such as geography, demographics, psychographics, web browsing behavior, and past purchases. 

Targeting / Sub-Tactic

This details what type of targeting types are happening under each Tactic umbrella. E.g., in a Display campaign we may run 3P Behavioral Targeting, 1st Party CRM Lookalike modeling, Domain Retargeting, and Keyword contextual (or any other targeting type mentioned above) 

Third-Party Subtargeting

Targeting data that is purchased from a 3rd party data collector. 

Video/Audio Event Retargeting (VRT)

Serving an ad to a user after they have seen/heard a video or audio ad. These ads can track users at the mid-point or completion of an ad and are bucketed into a retargeting pool that can be used across channels. 

Pixel/Tracking Terms


A trackable action on a site such as a form completion, button click, page visit, or order confirmation. Also referred to as activities. 

Dynamic Tag

Integrate third-party tools for tracking website activity, enabling the notification of third parties in real-time whenever there’s a conversion. 

External ID

In Campaign Manager, an external ID is any ID that you might use outside Campaign Manager 360 for internal reports (this ID is not generated by Campaign Manager 360). You can apply the same external ID to any combination of campaigns or placements or use a unique ID for every campaign and every placement. 


Allows you to track and report on conversions in Campaign Manager — the actions of users who visit your site after viewing or clicking on one of your ads — and to set up an audience, which compiles lists of users who’ve performed specific actions on a site, then makes those users available for targeting by subsequent campaigns. Also referred to as an Activity. 

Placement ID

Identification number generated when creating placements in Campaign Manager. Located next to Placement Name in the platform. 

Placement Tag

A placement tag—sometimes called an ad tag—is code that calls an ad server for ad content when users visit a site. Campaign Manager 360 serves ads when users visit a site with Campaign Manager 360 placement tags. The placement tag instructs the user’s browser to request the ad, and the request often includes information that Campaign Manager 360 can use to decide what kind of ad to send. 

Static Tracking Tag

In TTD, this is a small piece of code that allows advertisers to track user behavior on a website and provide information on the effectiveness of an ad campaign. Can be appended as a Dynamic tag in a Campaign Manager Floodlight to enable Third-Party Tracking. 

Tracking Pixel

A small piece of code that allows advertisers to track user behavior on a website and provide information on the effectiveness of an ad campaign.  

Tracking Tag

A tracking tag is a piece of code added to a website as a way to track that someone landed on a page. In some cases, tracking tags pass on information about what actions a user took on a given page. Tracking tags are not seen by users and are also known as pixels, tracking pixels, retargeting pixels, or conversion pixels. 

Universal Pixel

The Trade Desk’s universal pixel collects data on what pages are visited on a website. The universal pixel supports all the functionality of a static tracking tag while also supporting the additional, optional functionality of pixel mappings. In order to create specific page mappings, the pixel must be placed into the shared code (header/footer) of a webpage. 

General Advertising Metrics


When a user clicks on an ad.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

The amount of budget spent to acquire one new lead. For example, if an advertiser spends $100 and gets 4 leads, their CPL would be $25.  This can also be referred to as a cost per conversion or cost per action (CPA) 

Estimated Cost Per Activity (eCPA)

The estimated cost to acquire a site activity based on the pixel activities.  

Cost Per Completed View (CPCV)

The cost for a completed view (or audio message) by a user. Video, CTV, and Audio tactics can be planned or measured by CPCV. 

Click-through Rate (CTR)

The number of clicks an advertiser receives on their ads per number of impressions. An ad’s CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an ad received by the number of impressions that were served, then converting it to a percentage.  

Full Episode Player (FEP)

Video units played during long-form content (ie a full episode of ‘Friends’) vs a short-form video (ie a two and a half minute news clip). Full episodes can be viewed across any screen (mobile, PC, tablet, TV), but the user has a time investment and high engagement in the program. 

Private Market Place (PMP)

This is a video, often Connected TV, pre-negotiated deal with the publisher, network, or content provider to push CTV ads onto higher premium content at a lower price. 


An individual instance of an ad being served. In digital advertising, an impression is measured regardless of whether the user has actually seen or interacted with the ad in any way. 


The spend is the media budget spent so far in the date range selected for a campaign.  

Increase Sales By 35% in 6 Weeks or Less: 5 Direct Response Advertising Tips

Increase Sales By 35% in 6 Weeks or Less: 5 Direct Response Advertising Tips

As a Direct Response advertising agency, we have executed hundreds of campaigns over the last 25-plus years. We have seen that creating a solid Direct Response campaign can increase sales immediately. Usually clients see an increase in response by 30% to 40% in just a few short weeks, transitioning from branding to direct response. Here are some tips to help you do the same.

1.) Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes. See how they feel. Then take them off, look at them, smell them and ask yourself what’s really important to the person wearing them. The heart of Direct Response is communicating “what’s in it for the customer” in tangible ways that garner attention and action. Where branding campaigns are usually trying to build positive recall and feelings toward a brand, direct response campaigns get to the heart of why a potential customer should act now and explain how the product or service provides the solution they need. When you are creating your ads, it’s crucial to put yourself in the mind and heart of your target customer. Your creative should answer the following questions.

  • How is this product or service going to benefit me or make my life better?
  • Why should I trust what this advertiser is saying?
  • How can I find out more if I am interested?
  • Why should I act now and not put off my decision any longer?
  • Will this product or service benefit me more than others I have heard about or seen?
  • What am I risking? (time, money or both) Why is this worth the risk?

2.) Make it easy for your customer to respond. So many advertising campaigns today are very creative but are confusing. How many ads have you seen that left you asking, “How does that relate to me?” or “What was that even about?” With Direct Response advertising, you should tell your customers how to respond along and why they should respond. Here are some tips to do that:

  • TV Ads: Put the call to action on the screen within the first two seconds of the ad.
  • Radio Ads: Repeat the call to action at least three times.
  • Digital Ads: Use an action button that leads to user-friendly landing page.
  • Digital Ads: Shorten the response form to the minimum number of fields possible.

3.) Negotiate or hire a media buyer to get 35% or more ad time for the same investment. With broadcast media like national and local cable, national and local radio, streaming services and podcasts, there are typically two different rate structures depending on the type of advertiser you are. There are branding rates and direct response rates. A straightforward tactic is to create a Direct Response ad and then request the Direct Response rates for placing your media. Typically, you can save 35% to 50% off the standard brand rate card and sometime much more.

You need to know this about the Direct Response world: Your ads can be bumped if someone outbids you. However, a good media buyer knows the rates you need to be at to make the buys profitable for you. Sometimes it’s ok to sit on the sidelines if another advertiser is willing to pay a premium for a short amount of time. The Direct Response strategy is to deliver a positive ROI on your media day in and day out… week in and week out.

4.) Build trust. Building trust is one of the cornerstones of Direct Response advertising. Depending on the type of product or service you offer, trust may appear in the form of independent reviews, real customer testimonials and rating services like BBB and Trustpilot. No amount of good creative can overcome distrust on the customer’s part. Trust must be an integral part of everything you do. New customers are going to be looking for reasons to trust you. Give it to them. Let them know it’s safe and wise to do business with you.

5.) Limit risk. The ability to build trust gives the customer comfort in doing business with you, while limiting their risk helps motivate them to act. There are several ways to limit the risk for potential customers. Take 14-day, risk-free trials, for example. Many subscription-based companies give potential customers the ability to try a product or service for two weeks to see if it’s a good fit. From weight loss to meal prep to supplements, you will see this strategy implemented because it’s very effective. Offering a money-back guarantee is another risk-lowering strategy. Some companies even offer to cover shipping. Make it clear and make it easy. Free information is used often for higher ticket items that take more time to explain than a typical 30-second spot can convey. It can be a white paper, brochure or educational video. Free is one of the most powerful words in Direct Response advertising. Use it to your advantage.

These five tips can help you realize an immediate increase in response and sales. Use them and reap profitable rewards.

How to Make Your Radio Advertising Work: Radio Advertising Agency “Secret Sauce”

How to Make Your Radio Advertising Work: Radio Advertising Agency “Secret Sauce”

According to the Nielsen Total Audience Report, radio reaches 92% of Americans age 18+ each and every week. To compare that impact with other media sources, smartphones reach 83% of Americans each week; TV reaches 89% of Americans each week; and computers reach 50% of Americans each week. And this is happening while other advertising outlets like cable TV are losing audience–a phenomenon known as “cord-cutting.”

Radio is growing.

Author Annette Malave, SVP of the Radio Advertising Bureau, reports “The only medium noted as not experiencing declines, or better positioned as having a consistent audience reach, was radio – around 90% for at least the past nine years.” Each other medium noted within the release – newspapers, cable TV, network TV, local TV and digital-native news – had declines ranging from 5% to 15%.”

Malave goes on to report how Pew Research Center’s “5 Facts” mean a lot to radio. So in keeping in Pew Research Center’s “5 Facts” format, here are top five facts (along with supporting data) about radio:

1. Radio’s listening audience is growing.

  • June 2014: radio reached 244 million people weekly1
  • June 2018: radio reached over 247 million people weekly1

2. Radio reaches consumers on the go – wherever or whenever they want it – live or via streams, apps, podcasts and across devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, smart TVs or smart speakers.

  • Online radio listening is growing to 180 million people monthly2
  • Podcast listening growth to 124 million people2

3. Radio has an emotional connection unlike any other medium.

  • 87% say that broadcast radio personalities make them laugh4
  • 64% would follow their radio personality if they went to another radio station4
  • 61% stated that the personalities on radio stations make them think4
  • 51% see radio stations personalities or DJs like a friend/family4
  • 46% trust radio station personalities – they are opinion leaders4

4. Radio is local.

  • 84% of listeners believe that radio’s primary advantage is its local feel.3

5. Radio delivers results.

  • Radio delivers a $10 to $1 ROI5
  • Radio delivers a 29% lift in incremental Google search6
  • Radio delivers campaign awareness lift when combined with other media7

Since Radio reaches 92% of Americans age 18+, that makes radio America’s number one Reach Medium. So, the questions are: “How can I make radio work for my business?” and “What do I need to know to make my radio campaign successful?”

Here are Q&As to make your radio campaign successful.

Q: How do I make a radio commercial that’s effective?

A: Create your ads with the customer in mind. Know the problem that you are solving and develop your spots to deliver the solution. Customer-centric creative needs to present the problem, provide the customer with a clear solution in words and terms that the customer can easily understand “what’s in for them,” create a sense of urgency, and deliver a strong call to action. Great creative is the foundation for an effective radio campaign. According to Radio Recall Research of over 2,500 different radio commercials, neither humor nor music provided any help in brand recall. What’s important is that your creative delivers a clear and compelling message that your product or service can help make their life better. Provide proof in your creative and make it easy for them to try it out. Here are what actual radio listeners said they would like to hear in the ads on their favorite radio stations. Based on an online sample of 622 radio listeners ages 18-54, here is what they said would make a compelling radio spot:

  • Provide them with information on places to go and things to do (63%)
  • Help them learn about local businesses (41%)
  • Something that builds in-store traffic (40%)
  • Connect them with their local area (39%)
  • Prompt online action (38%)
  • Create Ads with messages that they retain (38%)
  • Tell them why to buy (26%)

(Source: NuVoodoo Media Services proprietary study for RAB, 2013)

Here are some things to avoid in your radio commercials. These elements are guaranteed to make the radio listener turn the station, tune out and probably be angry or feel negative toward your brand. Do these and you are certain to fail with your radio ads:

  • Use a police siren or ambulance sound effect.
  • Use a record scratch sound effect.
  • Use throw-away phrases that people tune out like “Now is the time to buy. Wait. There’s more. We’re #1 in the … business.”
  • Use unrealistic language in a slice of life ad. “Hi, Amy. How is your day going?” “Great, Jill. I just called 555-attorney to get start my medical malpractice lawsuit started.”

According to the Psychology of Advertising report in, the emotion of “likeability” is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales. Advertising campaigns that performed well had 31% emotional content and 16% rational content.

So, make sure your voiceover talent is friendly and that their voice builds trust. Create an opportunity for a radio listener to like your brand and your offer, even if they don’t need your product or service now. One day they will, and you want them to think of you in a positive way when it’s time to purchase.

Q: How do I break through the clutter? How can I get my customer’s attention?

A. Use 60-second radio spots and not 30-second spots if you really want your spots to generate sales. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, “60-second spots have a higher recall than 30-second spots. If two commercials are exact in length, then the commercial with the greater amount of words will have higher recall.” Another reason to use 60-second spots over 30-second spots is the value. In television you usually get a 50% discount on 30-second ads vs. 60-second ads. But that is not always the case in radio. Usually radio stations will try to keep an average unit rate of about 65% to 70% for 30s vs. 60s. So, you don’t get half off many times. You don’t always save 50% by using 30-second vs. 60-second spots. As a rule, a 60-second radio spot should contain 160 to 170 words. A 30-second radio spot should contain 80 to 85 words. You want to give the voice talent time to deliver your message in a compelling way and not just read as fast as they can. This will give you time to build the trust and awareness you need for the customer to respond.

Q: How do I reach more customers? How do I stop wasting dollars on ads that don’t work?

A: Target your ad to run on the stations and formats your customers listen to most. As stated before. radio is a reach medium. You can cost effectively reach your audience if you know what format your customers listen to. Here are some guidelines:

Q: How do I make money on my radio advertising?

A: Don’t pay too much for your spots. Advertising rates are negotiable. The station will send you a rate card. But that really is like sticker price on a car. You should be able negotiate based on the actual audience they deliver in the time or daypart you want to advertise:

Standard dayparts are Monday through Friday 6am to 7pm; these are also known as rotators.
Morning Drive is Monday through Friday 6am to 10am.
Mid-Day is 10am to 3pm.
Afternoon Drivetime is Monday through Friday 3pm to 7pm.

Professional media buyers will negotiate based on the cost per thousand (CPM) or Cost per Point (CPP). This is an indicator of the cost to tell one thousand people about your product or service. For example, if the station you are negotiating with delivers 25,000 Average Quarter Hour (the average number of listeners every 15 minutes, noted as AQH) for Adults aged 25-54, you can offer to pay $10 per thousand or $250 per spot. You should be able to negotiate for more aggressive pricing during the first and third quarter of the year and less so during the second and fourth quarter of the year when seasonal demand for inventory is higher.

It’s wise to get a professional media buyer on your side. They know what the market is delivering and usually have relationships that can get you the maximum number of spots and audience for your investment. Radio spot rates are negotiable. You don’t have the pay what’s on the rate card.

Use these guidelines to build a better performing radio campaign. Radio is theatre of the mind. It has held its own with the onslaught of digital media. It’s local. It’s loved. People feel a connection to their favorite hosts. You can use radio’s powerful influence to create awareness, demand and results for your business.

Sources: 1 Nielsen, RADAR 124 and 137, June 2014 and 2018, M-Su 24-hr. weekly cume P12+; 2The Infinite Dial 2018, Edison Research/Triton Digital; 3 Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2018; 4 Vision Critical/MARU, November 2017; 5 Nielsen Catalina 2014-2016; 6 RAB: Radio Drives Search, 2017, Sequent Partners, Media Monitors, Inf4mation Insights; 7 New Research/IAB, 2016.

Media Buying: 5 Steps for Developing a Successful Plan

Media Buying: 5 Steps for Developing a Successful Plan

There are smart reasons to advertise. In today’s competitive environment your advertising has to work even harder to break through the clutter, gain market share, create buzz and beat out the competition. However, cost-effectiveness and ROI begins with the right approach to media buying.

According to the RAB, here are 10 reasons why advertising is so critical:

  1. Advertising creates store traffic or web traffic.
  2. Advertising attracts new customers.
  3. Advertising encourages repeat business.
  4. Advertising generates continuous business.
  5. Advertising is an investment in success.
  6. Advertising keeps you competitive.
  7. Advertising keeps your product, service or business Top-of-Mind with customers.
  8. Advertising gives your business a successful image.
  9. Advertising maintains morale.
  10. Advertising brings in big dollars for your business.

While there are great reasons to advertise, the question becomes “How do we advertise wisely? What does it take to develop a successful media plan?” Or more often than not, the question we get asked is “How much should I budget? Or “How much should we spend to have our advertising be successful?”

These are absolutely the right questions to ask because you don’t want to spend too little and never know if your advertising would have worked if you would have invested just a little more. And you don’t want to spend too much and waste money.

You don’t need more advertising options. There are so many it can be distracting. You need to know which of the advertising options are going to give you the maximum Return on Investment. So here are some steps to consider when developing a media plan and how we at DX Media Direct begin to establish the right-sized media plan for clients.

Step One: Establish your target metric for results. Make it measurable. Make it specific. Make it count.

The first step to developing a successful media plan is to know exactly what you want or need from your plan for you to consider the advertising investment a success. This looks different for every company. If you are a retail location, then you would like to see more customers, foot traffic, and same store, same month, year over year sales increases. If you are a web-driven company, then it could be visitors and purchases from your site.

One way to help clarify what you need to get from your advertising is to finish this statement: If I spend $1,000 in advertising, I need this _______________ to happen. Fill in the blank. You answer could be a number of new customers, number of sales dollars, number of prospects, increase in store visitors, number of unique visitors to your website or follows on social media. Then you need to consider how many opportunities you need to convert to the specific number of sales to make that $1,000 a profitable investment.

For example, if you convert 10% or 1 in 10 prospects into a sale and you make $500 per sale on average, then your advertising needs to deliver 20 prospects for you to break even on your media. That’s because you create two customers on average based on your conversion ratio. So, you gain $1,000 in sales for every $1,000 you invest. That’s also known as 1 to 1 Media Effectiveness Ratio. Most companies are looking for a 2.5 to 1 or 3 to 1 Media Effectiveness Ratio.

What you fill in the blank with is the foundation and metric that every part of your media plan must achieve to continue being part of your media plan. That’s your benchmark. That’s your target metric. It’s also known as a KPI or Key Performance Indicator. Once you have established your Key Performance Indicator, then you need to review your sales process and develop a plan for measuring the response rate, conversion ratio and lifetime value of your customers.

Step Two: Match your media mix to the way you sell.

How you sell and who you sell to (your target customer) determines how you advertise. Delivering optimal advertising results is specific to your organization. When, where, how and who your customers are will guide you to your optimal media mix. Each company has established a sales system that works for them because of how they connect best with their target customers. It could be leads from a website to an in-house sales team. It could be you sell best 100% online. If you have retail outlets, then you want more opportunities for face to face customer interaction. Every media type has strengths and weaknesses. For example:

  • Radio is great at driving response from M-F, 6am to 7pm.
  • Facebook has certain times of day that are stronger for results because more people are free to look at it.
  • TV is dominant in Primetime and weekends.
  • Outdoor is excellent for “Exit Here” strategies.

At DX Media Direct, we work hard to make sure the media mix matches the highest conversion rates for each specific company and the way they sell. Write down your responses to the following statements. This will guide your agency or media buyer to determine the best media mix and plan for the maximum results.

  • I convert more prospects to sales at this time of day and these days of the week.
  • My best salespeople work during these hours and days of week.
  • My sales system is this. Be specific on how you handle responses from the start of the selling process to converting a customer.
  • Seasonality impacts my sales. Yes or no?
  • My worst sales days are these.
  • I’m closed these hours and these days.
  • My best customers are age, gender, income and psychographic segmentation, which means dividing your market based upon consumer personality traits, attitudes, interests and lifestyles.
  • My best customers really seem to enjoy ___________.
  • Most of my customers live ______________ miles from our location.
  • Location is not a factor in how we get business.
  • My customers say they purchase from us because ________________.
  • My customers are web savvy, shop and compare all the time. Yes or no?

Your agency should begin to see which media should be included in your media plan once some of these answers come to light.

Step Three: Create a test plan to measure how the initial media plan performs before a complete rollout.

Once you have your target metrics, how you sell and when you sell the most, then a media plan will begin to emerge. A good media plan usually has a mix of media because customers now research and respond in several ways. They search you on their smartphone, look up reviews, check you online, see if your website answers some initial questions for them, look up your Facebook page and even stop by your retail location or call. There is a best-in-class strategy for each media you use.

The key is to test the initial media plan, review the results and refine the plan before you roll out more budget. We usually recommend three- to four-week tests initially. Your media should be delivering at 65% to 75% of your stated goals within the first test phase. If certain media outlets are only performing at half of goal, or 50% of your target, then this media needs to be eliminated or re-analyzed to see why it’s underperforming.

Step Four: Make sure you get enough frequency to move prospects through the purchase funnel: “Awareness, Interest, Desire to Action.”

In broadcast, you will want to target a minimum frequency of three times. Erwin Ephron writes in his article the rule of three, “Exposure No. 1 is a ‘What is it?’ type of response. Anything new or novel—no matter how uninteresting—on second exposure has to elicit some response the first time… If only to disregard the object as of no further interest. The second exposure response is ‘What of it? Does this have relevance to me?’ By the third exposure, the viewer knows he/she has been through the ‘What is it and what of it?’ phases. The third exposure becomes the true reminder.”

For radio we suggest a minimum 25 spots per week Mon.-Fri. from 6am to 7pm. Optimum Effective Scheduling, which helps you determine the number of spots to achieve a frequency of three times on radio, is based on the formula Cume / AQH X 3.29 = OES or Optimum Effective Scheduling. This gives you the calculation for the number of times your message needs to air to reach your target audience at least three times in a week.

Optimum Effective Schedules will direct you to much higher frequency weekly, but you can save on budget by advertising fewer weeks of the month to deliver a greater yield than if you had a low number of spots spread out for 52 weeks. Again, your agency and or media buyer should help guide you to the most efficient way to execute the test.

Step Five: Let the Data drive you and take the emotion out of the media plan.

When you start advertising and planning your media, it’s easy to let emotions drive you. A customer comment, a salesperson’s input, and anecdotal observations can drive you crazy and get you off target. Once you begin to execute the media plan, then evaluate the performance based on the results each media buy accomplished. As long the media is performing you can create other campaigns that are similar in target audience, CPM, reach and frequency, and results. There will be ups and downs, but they should be manageable.

Paul J. Meyer writes: “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” When you have built a smart media plan, you will harvest solid, stable results.